Daniel Shannon is a writer, New Scholar, and dilettante. He has an Indy-and-snakes grade fear of forks with wacky tines. Born in suburban New York, raised in suburban Connecticut, and lately transported to what he can’t help calling “the FiDi,” Daniel is a student at Manhattan’s New School University and an essayist. His areas of interest are focused but diverse, and include psychoanalysis, collective memory, LGBTQ politics, English literature, and the post-postmodern return to authenticity. His work has previously appeared in Chicago’s Stockyard magazine, American Drink, and, somewhat to his shame, campus journals.
Daniel is currently working on three projects for publication: “The Phamily,” “Beyond Banaltiy,” and The Way We Were.
“The Phamily,” the product of ten days spent with the Westboro Baptist Church in 2010, is the first-ever report on the Church to approach them and their works as something serious to be reckoned with seriously—not as “crazy,” but as worthy of the attention due anything worshipful. Whereas most journalists and scholars have dismissed the Church as a group of fringe madmen (and -women), “The Phamily” considers the place in U.S. politics and society of one of the most darkly influential and effective hate groups extant.
“Beyond Banality: A Report on the Fabulousness of Evil” deals with the relationship between the aesthetic judgment that a thing is fabulous and the moral judgment that a thing is evil. Exploring historical figures from Daniel Paul Schreber to Shirley Phelps-Roper and characters from Darth Vader to Hannibal Lecter to Ursula the Sea Witch, it asks when—and how—evil can be not just “seductive,” but an object of desire in its own right.
The Way We Were explores the connection between collective memory and gay-male community. It asks how what we remember shapes who we are, and takes as its objects of analysis phenomena from the psychoanalysis of dance to the mnemic value of the showtune. The essay is meant to unearth what is worshipful and soul-making, not just what is deconstructive and problem-forming, about queerness.
Pitches for and sample chapters of these pieces, along with previous publications, are available .